Well, it’s really here… the Next Chapter. All thoughts of IBM and SIS are part of a previous part of the book, no going back. And to honour the transition, I’ll post here what I shared with my friends and co-workers as a “parting shot”. My 2nd to last email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” (that ID has been mine since 1998 when IBM switched from VM to Lotus Notes… that’s another story!). I’m sure that ID will be gone in a few days. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you don’t need to know the insider secrets to laugh along.
I will add a separate entry about the party, with photos. And write something about the feeling of transition… walking out the door the last time was emotional, knowing a chapter was ending and a chapter was starting. One person in particular really got me, I didn’t think ahead and was surprised when the moment came; that moment, those tears, made it really clear that the next chapter was now open. Thanks Nada.
For now, here’s my “good bye” email… Mike B mentioned that he didn’t have a copy of his so I wanted to make a point of keeping this so I (and anyone who’s interested) can look back on it years from now. I hope you enjoy reading it.
And a bonus photo of what I left behind… this is the outside of my x-cubie 🙂
The subject lines is
It’s 42, accept it and move ahead
And the story goes like this… it was sent on Thursday March 24 2011, the day after the farewell party and the day before I finished.
Thanks to everyone who came out last night, I felt very honoured that you
made the effort… I guess I may have had a small impact on this place
after-all. I promise the next party won’t involve a snowstorm!
Hi… still reading?
No, it’s “only” 30 years (plus 4 days)… the answer is still 42.
42: The answer to that ultimate question of… life the universe and
everything. Go do the math, maybe Watson can help?
42: “back in the day when…” when education was a part of everyone’s
career in IBM, a course I took in mainframe technology was taught by
William Hardacre the 3rd and he published a set of common-sense laws. Law
#42 has always stuck and it lines up well (in my mind) with Douglas
First say this mantra:
take a breath, say it again.
(it helped get me through these 30 years…)
Now google William Hardacre and find his 42nd law… good luck. It’s more
obscure than Vogon poetry, not as painful though!. Law # 42 states simply:
His other laws are good too… worth a read (I’ve left them on the outside
of my cubicle)..
After you delete this email, I hope you’ll think about what “it” depends
on. It’s my opinion that you get to shape that space. For now, I’ll wrap up
by sharing a few thoughts on what the past 30 years of “42” means to me and
you are invited to use, abuse, or ignore as you see fit.
SIS has always been about the people.
This time has given me the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing
people I know, and I thank you (and big blue) for that. Wow. Having sorted
through my paper archives, I saw names like Otto, Huckfield, Hancock,
Goody, Ferrie, Koltowski, Crash, JD, Mark, Rick, and well… too many to
mention. Some have been gone longer than most of you reading this have
been part of SIS. It’s really unfortunate that this sort of history and all
the lessons learned aren’t available to build on (IMHO). Someone should
write a book on it… hmmm. At least there’s a video.
People I’ve mentored who stepped up and took charge… I’ve been very proud
of seeing them grow.
People I’ve worked with who were dedicated without the burning ambition, oh
so very Brokerage! Anyone who’s worked on a major conversion and burned out
getting the job done knows how important they were to delivering customer
sat. Merrill, Woody “Gumby”, TD, there have been lots of highlights over
these past years. Perspective, yes… 42! I know it depends. I only need to
think back to the weekend we deployed trade innovator for the first time
and found that it wouldn’t run on the target platform to remind myself.
That was a busy weekend as folks like Dave Witterick, Terry and Carson
worked to redeploy on some pSeries servers we “re-purposed”. Of course it
was available Monday morning…
People I’ve grown up with as we all grew together… SIS has always had a
sense of family and community. I think there are still about 15 of us “old
timers” left, I hope you’ll pick their brains while they’re still there.
It really was good working downtown, being close to our customers and
interacting with them. We had a number of locations; when I started we were
in the Royal Trust Tower and then we moved into the new IBM Tower (that’s
what 79 Wellington was originally called). When I started, we still did all
the printing and would pack up the reports into big leather bags for each
of the brokers. They would send staff down to pick up the bags @ 8:30 each
morning, quite a feeding frenzy. And the only time the 3rd shift crew would
need to wear a tie.
Opening up the Vancouver office was another one of those places… perhaps
there’s an opportunity to win back some of those customers and open it up
My favourite though was getting to work in Belgium for almost 2 years. Many
people don’t know that SIS had a Professional Services division that worked
on opportunities around the world. You’ll find implementations of our OMS
system in places like Milan and Amsterdam, and a variant of trade innovator
in Brussels. India, Hong Kong, and of course the States were all places SIS
Consumers Road… well let’s just say I won’t miss the food.
There have been a few over the years. I’ve mentioned being part of some
major conversions (I hope SIS can get back into that, it’s exciting stuff
to bring on new customers!), and being part of the trade innovator team. I
also had the pleasure of bringing Canada’s first online broker to the
internet when we released our NetAdvisor product in 1996 with TDW. Early
accomplishments include documenting the first successful DR Plan (1986) and
the one that everyone in OPS is very intimate with: Stream Split. It bought
us back hours in our batch processing window, which used to be very tight.
I expect that the idea of multiple streams will be around for a while…
And later accomplishments include building 300 servers in 6 months, with a
core team of talented folks. Too bad we never delivered the applications to
use them! (Yes, that was RVP… before nRVP, Plan B, and EVP).
Getting SIS to sponsor a “Bike to Work Week” event in 1990 was a nice
accomplishment too… thanks Ray.
the Next Chapter:
Many of you know I’m an avid cyclist and photographer. Over the past few
years I have combined those interests and started a personal business as a
photojournalist and photographer. I have been published in Velonews and
Pedal magazines, as well as a variety or websites covering bicycle races
around North America and Europe. I look forward to having the time to
devote to that and see how far I can take it. So starting in April, I’ll be
traveling about in my old VW camper with a load of bikes and camera gear.
If you’re interested in staying in touch and following this adventure, I’ll
be posting to my blog (nextchapter.kraikerphoto.com) along the way.
I’m only retiring from IBM, I’m not the kind to sit around though… should
my time here has come to an end and I’m moving ahead. Thank you for sharing
in the adventure, and I hope to keep in touch.
so long, and thanks for all the
Regards, Peter Kraiker